Identity

Flexibility or Simplicity? Marketers Don’t Have to Choose

October 25, 2021  |   Andrew Kasprzycki

The following is a reprint of an article that recently appeared on Adweek.

One of the fundamental characteristics of a good business leader is having strong decision-making abilities. Especially in times of uncertainty, it’s essential to set clear priorities that will drive the best outcomes for the team, the organization, and customers.

In an increasingly data-driven world that drives customer experience and digital innovation, the types of decisions facing CMOs and other marketing leaders have only become more challenging. The unfortunate result can sometimes lead to the perception that the choice is only between option A vs. option B, instead of understanding that such oversimplification and trade-offs can come at a cost. But how does this even happen in the first place?

Marketers now own both brand and performance. Their roles also extend to include customer relationships and the dynamic customer journey. To be successful, marketers need to understand marketing strategies, content, and the channels and technologies to execute and measure them on. With the demands of their role in and from the organization, it’s easy to understand how a marketer can be presented with choices that can be contradictory in objectives. In the pursuit of decisiveness, what may be overlooked is that, in reality, both objectives are viable. One perceived choice can be whether a marketer needs to choose between simplicity or flexibility.                 

Once upon a time, marketers could rely on reach, frequency, and demographic panels for their latest 60-second ad. Now, marketers have to find innovative ways to surprise and delight customers, build relationships, drive conversions among increasingly savvy and skeptical consumers—and show attribution across offline and online channels. Digital and data leveled out the playing field, lowering the barriers for competition and eroding brand loyalty. 

To simplify reaching their goals, marketers are choosing to work almost exclusively with premium digital publishers to reach and measure customized audiences. Sending marketing dollars and first-party data to social and search partners guarantees reporting and efficiencies that don’t complicate measurement or take up extensive analytics team resources. This does lead to sacrifices.

Following in this path, marketers are forfeiting the flexibility of a more sophisticated, diverse media plan that allows advertisers to reach broader audiences wherever they spend most of their time and the agility to optimize budgets across platforms at the audience level. To illustrate, as the OTT video landscape expands, and TV viewership becomes more fragmented, marketers should ensure they can be more flexible with their budget and learn how and where to reach people to deliver the best outcomes, whether that’s on the web, in digital, OTT, in-app, in-store, and elsewhere in the channel multiverse. 

Suppose a marketer lacks the ability to execute strategies that are both flexible and simple. In that case, they will miss out on opportunities to learn about their customers, improve their relationships, and engage them most effectively in the real world. It can also prevent a marketer from efficiently optimizing campaigns across platforms or determine which ones are successfully driving offline sales. A critical component to success is having an identity strategy and infrastructure that can translate and connect data and is interoperable. An identity infrastructure is a set of services that enable the resolution of disparate customer data, the enhancement of customer data through additional graph and data partnerships, and the interoperability of identifiers for use across the marketing ecosystem. This allows marketers to create a more holistic view of the customer, enable audience-based activation and measurement across every channel, and better prepare their teams for the future.

Gaps in customer intelligence, siloed and disconnected data across the digital advertising ecosystem, and a constantly changing landscape lead to missed opportunities for brands to understand their customers and provide them with the experiences they crave on their path to purchase. 

Decisiveness does not always require sacrifice

The right technologies can help a team work more efficiently and evade legacy compromises so they can truly elevate the business. The right partners will understand how to maximize the value from data and transform customer experience into a competitive advantage. 

Interested in learning more about the importance of interoperability? Check out this recent webinar featuring a fireside chat with Josh Farbman from Annalect, a division of Omnicom Media Group, or reach out to us here at LiveRamp.